How Do I Do Unto Others When They Don't Do Unto Me?
"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." Luke 6:31 K.J.V.
Unless you live in isolation somewhere you can't avoid people. Everywhere you go there are people, and even though most like to present a put-together appearance, generally, people are complicated and messy.
It is not easy dealing with people. Some do it better than others but everybody, and I mean everybody, has stepped on someone else's toes in this life whether intentionally or unintentionally.
Tempers may flare.
Feelings may get hurt.
Relationships may come to an end.
That's just with the people you really know. With the people you don't know a real brawl could go down if someone cuts in the line, if they cut you off on the highway, or if they take your parking space!
In case you think I exaggerate...
As someone who follows the way of Christ, I try to listen to His instructions, one of them being, do unto others as you would have them to do unto you.
I can tell you from experience that acting in this way will not be easy especially since those around you most likely will not act that way towards you. I have rather found that they observe the mercy you give to them and then proceed to step all over you like a dirty doormat.
Acting in the flesh, at this stage,is extremely tempting.
Have you ever been stepped on like a dirty mat by someone?
This stepping all over you can become quite frustrating and sometimes you may feel to scream. The thing is, even when people are not trying to follow this command of Christ, they tend to get stepped on or treated like toilet paper. This causes the bone deep need to rant to even a potted plant (if that is all you can find) about the injustice of it all and state how selfish and demanding other people are.
Can't they have some consideration?
Can't they just peek out of their bubble of self-absorption for one minute and see the fact that they mistreat others daily?
You may yell something like, "Hey! Human here. Not toilet paper!" or maybe something milder like, "There are other people on earth besides you, you know!"
To confront or not to confront? That is the question.
At this point you might be thinking one of two things :
1.) "I am really going to give that person a piece of my mind."
2.) " It makes no sense confronting because how can I make an ignorant person understand?"
I know people who instinctively choose choice one and others who consistently choose choice two.
The Book of Proverbs gives advice about this as well:
"Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him."
"Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit."
Proverbs 26: 4-5
So which is it?
I believe that the Bible also has some advice about this in the Book of Ecclesiastes. It says that there is a time and place for everything. Understanding when is the right time to answer or the right time to keep silent is tantamount in these situations.
When He was being led to be crucified, Jesus Himself uttered not a word.
"And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing." Matthew 27:12 K.J.V.
Yet there were times before when He spoke as the time was right to do so.
"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." John 8:44 K.J.V.
Contrary to popular belief, Jesus did stand up for the word of God and stands against evil. He was not always, as the world would call it, 'nice' while on earth.
He was always truthful.
Those who recognized the truth, followed Him after. Some who had been troubled by His words turned away and others who were troubled followed Him knowing He was right.
Sometimes the truth offends and sometimes it does not, but it is always truth.
Samwise telling Frodo the truth that he does not want to face
Truth is spoken without rage
A good indicator for me to know whether I am speaking simply to satisfy my flesh or if I am speaking in order to edify and glorify the name of God is if I speak without anger.
There is a certain calm that comes over you that can assure you that that you speak with no animosity towards the person. You simply wish to call to their attention a fact that you yourself would wish to know if you were in the same position.
As a matter of fact, if we put ourselves in the reverse position and always think what we would be best for us in such a situation, it becomes clearer and a bit easier.
Managing this commandment from Christ, Himself is difficult, but can be done otherwise He would not have given it.
© 2020 North Wind